Monthly Archives: March 2014

Friday Photo 33

Temple of Heaven


Lessons from the Future

The Future market, I mean. So last week I joined the 11th Saturday X Future Market for the first time. This is just the second selling event for Happy Totes and my first time to do it alone. Well, I offered someone I know the job of joining me for the one-day event but he refused. I was sure he wouldn’t turn me down because I saw him as quite the people-person but I guess I read him incorrectly. For lack of a back-up plan and against my better judgment, I decided to do it alone.

Which brings me to my first lesson. NEVER go to a selling event alone. Common sense dictates this. This is something I wouldn’t dare do again in the next selling events that I will join. The value of having someone with you in these events can not be stated enough.

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the venue at 7AM

I went to the event venue at the time advised by the organizers and I realized I was too early. The other sellers didn’t arrive until about half an hour before the opening time. NEXT time, I will be more relaxed in terms of arriving at the venue.

Because I had a single product, I thought bringing a small table will be enough to properly show my wares. I failed to consider that the bags had 8 different designs so the shoppers had to flip through the stacked bags to see the designs. BE CREATIVE in displaying your products. Before the next selling event, I will get a hat and coat rack to display the many designs of Happy Totes.

This next lesson is specific to the Saturday X Future Market. I found the space allotted to me too big for Happy Totes. This is because I only have one product, I could dance in my selling space and my products will not be disturbed. In my next Future Market gig, I will share my space with another designer/ artist/ seller so we can maximize the space.

The final lesson I learned is also the shortest to state and it ties up every lesson that precedes it. Always come prepared. I’m not saying that I didn’t do any preparation for the event but there is definitely room for improvement. Read and understand everything in the agreement with the event organizer. Recruit an assistant. Bring a chair if the organizer states they will not provide them; don’t hope they will change their minds. Have a secure place to put your money.

In addition, try to have fun as much as possible. Smile at the shoppers, even if they don’t end up buying from you. Engage with the other sellers in the event. Browse and buy their products. You’ll probably see them again. Selling is humble, dignified work. There’s no shame in it. Especially if you’re being true to yourself and your buyers.

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Happy Toters, new and old

Friday Photo 32

Selfie, circa 2006


It’s Out

Verses Typhoon Yolanda: A storm of Filipino poets is finally out.

This anthology, which I am part of, was edited by Eileen Tabios–a US-based Filipino writer. All profits from the book will be donated to relief organizations working with Yolanda survivors in the Philippines.


From the book’s blurb:

This is a book about a destructive typhoon named Yolanda, or Haiyan, which caused massive damage to the Philippines in November, 2013. This is a sprawling book of poems in English, Filipino, Cebuano, Waray, Hiligaynon, Bisaya. This is a book by poets who teach, poets who study, a poet who drives a tricycle for a living, poets who work for NGOs, poets who are school children. This is a book by 133 Filipino poets who live in the Philippines, the United States, Britain, the Netherlands, South Africa, elsewhere. What is diaspora but the aftermath of storm?

If you like reading poetry and help others at the same time, this book might just be for you. You can find it HERE.

Future Market

Late last year, a friend and I started a small bag business. However, my partner passed away weeks after we joined our first selling event. Since then, I was thrust into doing all things for the business all by myself. I was previously content to handle the production tasks so I felt ill-prepared to handle the marketing but I did it, fueled perhaps by my passion for the product, the memory of my friend, and the good will of his network.

our happy logo

our happy logo

We had talked about joining the Future Market but as things unfolded, it didn’t happen. I was too busy with many things. Thankfully, days ago, I managed to snag a slot in the monthly market for crafters, artists, and designers like me.

Happy Totes will be at the Future Market at Escolta today, Saturday, from 9AM to 6PM. Come see us if you have time!

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